Gardening Basics: How To Properly Mulch Your Garden

How to mulch your garden

Back when I just started gardening, I always thought that the hobby’s agenda was just to simply get a container or planting pot, pour the potting mix in it, plant in the seedswater them regularly, then watch them grow and develop into beautiful plants.

Most beginners have a chance of thinking the same way as well – that it’s just as easy as that – but this is definitely not the case. Gardening can be as complex as other hobbies, but do not let that discourage you because in this article, we will be focusing on soil maintenance, specifically, how to mulch your soil.

Soil is one of the main things you should take care of in order to grow healthy plants.

Back when I encountered countless soil issues, I lost most of my plants. To prevent you from making the same mistake, mulching is one of the best ways to start on the right path.

What Is Mulch?

To begin with, mulch in general is not something that is limited to one kind. All in all, mulch is any material that covers your soil’s surface. They come in different shapes, sizes, and have different benefits. Mulch can be natural and synthetic, but we will focus on natural mulch since it is safer and more effective.

As mentioned, mulch comes in different variants such as wood chips, ground coconut, compost, animal manure, and many others! You could either purchase mulch or actually make your own.

When it comes to purchasing mulch, I highly recommend that you get one from a well-known or reliable supplier. The nearest garden center may not be the best choice if they offer low-quality mulch because low-quality can do more harm than good to your plants.

In terms of making your own mulch, make sure to use the right ingredients because the wrong ingredients could result in the same way as buying low-quality mulch.

Mulch was not something that was widely used before because of the lack of research behind it. In fact, it was only recently that a lot of researchers proved its benefits to soil and plants. This is why mulching is now considered a popular method to improve soil and plant health.

Mulch and Microorganisms

If you mulch your soil properly, this will feed the microorganisms that are supplying your plants with nutrients as well, which is a double win! Microorganisms may be very small, but that does not mean they do not produce waste.

Don’t let the term “waste” scare you. The waste from microorganisms is actually good for soil structure!

Man Adding Mulch To Crops
Image From: Gardening Know-How

How To Mulch Your Soil Properly

Mulch is considered to be a gardener’s best-friend because even in different seasons, they are still capable of supplying nutrients, and at the same time protect your plants. Below are the exact ways on how to correctly apply mulch to your soil.

1) Make Use of Compost

Not only is compost readily available, but it is easy to make as well. Compost easily breaks down to give your soil a boost in growth and development. In addition to that, they are another source of nutrient providers as well.

In short, compost keeps your soil in pristine condition.

2) Do Not Throw Away Shredded Leaves

Dead leaves or plants can be a pain to clean, but do not throw them away! Instead, shred them and use them as mulch. Shredded leaves are capable of feeding the microorganisms in your soil for about a week or two.

I usually stock dead leaves or fallen leaves to use them as mulch at the right time.

Shredded Mulches and Leaves
Image From: Gardening Know-How

3) Do Not Over Mulch

Yes, over mulching is a thing. Adding too much mulch can suffocate your plants since the roots cannot easily access water and oxygen. I recommend only adding a layer of about 1 to 3 inches. Anything more than that is too much for your plants to handle.

Pile of Mulch Being Removed From Garden

4) Scatter The Mulch

Depending on your setup, I usually scatter the mulch for a better effect since this will not suffocate my plants, nor deprive them of the right amount of oxygen and water.

Just make sure it is scattered correctly because too much distance will have little to almost no effect at all on your plants.

A Person Holding a Handful of Mulch

5) Monitor Your Mulch’s Condition

There might be a case wherein your mulch rots. This is the result of too much water or improper mulch maintenance. Adding mulch to your soil does not mean you will have a monitoring pass. You still have to regularly check your mulch to determine if it is working well with your soil or not.

If it is not working, then consider trying a new kind of mulch that is more suitable for your plants.

Final Thoughts on Mulching Soil

Mulching soil may not be necessary, but if your soil is hardly providing your plants with the right amount of nutrients, then it’s best to consider one or two of the methods above to boost your plant’s growth and development.

During the very first lockdown, I used to pick up wood chips and all sorts of organic matters laying on the ground outdoors, and I would clean them and actually even boil some for a more thorough cleaning.

They worked perfectly fine and supplied my plants with essential nutrients. My plants grew at a fast rate as well, despite the fact that the mulches I picked up were only laying around waiting to be decomposed.

Do you have other ways to mulch soil? Let us know in the comment section below! For questions and clarifications, do not hesitate to comment them down below too.

About Ador Flores

Greetings! My name is Ador Flores, and I have been in love with nature ever since I was young. I bet you can agree when I say that mother nature tends to astonish you as well. While I may not be able to create mountains, waterfalls, and other majestic landscapes in my backyard, one thing is that I can for sure mimic nature by having a beautiful garden at home. Just from this simple mindset, it did not take long for me to turn gardening into a passion - a passion that changed my life forever. With the experiences I have had with gardening throughout all these years, I can definitely assure you that gardening is for everyone and I would love to share with all of you guys how fulfilling it really is! With the help of Seasonal Preferences, let us all become better gardeners and continue to promote a green and clean environment!

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